Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby, and there are many good places to shop for your next find.
Whether you’re an avid collector or just getting started, you may be wondering: Is it safe to buy coins on eBay? (Or other online marketplaces, for that matter!)
The answer is that it depends. It can be totally safe to buy coins online, if you know who you’re buying from and what to look for. But it can also be risky.
Here’s everything you need to know about buying coins on eBay.
Buying collectible coins on eBay can be safe, as long as you buy from a reputable seller.
Fortunately, eBay has a customer feedback system that makes it relatively easy to determine if a seller is legitimate or not.
When you look at a product listed on eBay, you’ll see “Seller information” on the product page. This will display the seller’s name, average customer rating, and a link you can click to read reviews.
If a seller has a good positive feedback rating, there’s a good chance that they’re safe to buy from. If the seller has many negative reviews, be wary.
The biggest risk of buying coins on eBay is getting fake or counterfeit coins.
Unfortunately, this is quite common — not just on eBay, but through all sorts of venues.
Fake coins are very common in circulation, and scammers often buy them to sell them as real coins. While many scammers get caught, it’s relatively easy to create a new profile on online marketplaces and start all over again.
Other potential risks include:
In addition to these risks, keep in mind that some items on eBay may be overpriced. Or, the shipping cost is so expensive that it outweighs the good deal you got on the coin. Be sure to price compare where possible, and contact your local coin shop to see if they have what you’re looking for.
Live in the Seattle area? Bellevue Rare Coins is the best coin shop in the Seattle area with 4 convenient locations.
As long as you navigate things safely, buying coins on eBay can be safe and enjoyable.
The biggest benefit is the massive selection. There are literally millions of coins listed on the platform, from ancient relics to modern collectibles.
Another potential benefit is the auction format of many listings. If you’re bidding on less-popular items, you could potentially score a good deal from an auction.
If you do choose to buy collectible coins on eBay, here are some best practices.
First and foremost, make sure to buy only from sellers with a good reputation and high average customer ratings. This helps insure that you’re working with a quality seller, and reduces the risks of scams.
It’s best to buy from sellers who frequently sell coins and collectibles, because they are more likely to be able to spot fakes.
If you see a seller with good ratings, but they mostly sell toys or electronics, they may not know much about coins. They could be unknowingly selling fake coins, or mislabeling coins as something they are not.
eBay does offer a bit of protection in the form of their Money Back Guarantee.
This guarantee offers your money back if you don’t receive the item you ordered.
The process allows you to start a dispute with a seller, and eBay will step in as needed to make things right.
As soon as your items arrive, closely examine them. You’ll want to ensure that they are in the condition they were described as, and that they are legitimate.
If something is amiss, use the eBay Money Back Guarantee (described above).
While eBay is good for certain niche items, shopping for coins in-person is usually better. At a physical location, you can actually look at the coins in-person, examine them, and work with experts to rest easy knowing you’re getting a good product.
Bellevue Rare Coins has been the most trusted coin dealer in the Pacific Northwest for over 40 years. Stop by today to see why!
Not from Seattle? We also have an eBay store with thousands of rare items to browse.